Yes, you can make tonic water in a SodaStream. While SodaStream doesn’t make their own tonic syrup, you can add flavors and quinine to carbonated water made with the SodaStream to create homemade tonic water. With some simple ingredients like citrus juice, sugar, and quinine powder or extract, you can make tasty tonic water at home without artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
What is Tonic Water?
Tonic water is a carbonated beverage that contains quinine as a main ingredient. Quinine is an alkaloid found in the bark of the cinchona tree and has a long history of being used to prevent and treat malaria. It has a very bitter taste.
Tonic water was first produced in the 1800s as a medicine and health tonic due to the quinine content. Over time, people started mixing it with liquor, such as gin, to make cocktails like the gin and tonic.
These days, tonic water is commonly used in mixed drinks, as well as enjoyed on its own. The quinine provides a distinct bitter flavor profile, while the carbonation makes it bubbly and refreshing.
Most commercial tonic waters contain high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners to counteract the bitter quinine. They have significantly less quinine than historical medicinal tonic waters.
Ingredients in Modern Tonic Water
Modern commercial tonic water typically contains:
- Carbonated water
- Sweeteners – high fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial sweeteners
- Citric acid
- Natural flavors
The sweeteners and flavorings like citric acid are added to balance out the intense bitterness of the quinine.
Can You Make Tonic Water with a SodaStream?
Yes, it is possible to make tonic water using a SodaStream.
A SodaStream is a device that carbonates water by adding carbon dioxide gas to it. This carbonated water can be flavored to make various homemade sodas.
To make tonic water with a SodaStream, you would:
- Carbonate water in the SodaStream per the device instructions.
- Add quinine and flavorings to the carbonated water.
The key is obtaining quinine and adding it for the classic tonic flavor.
Where to Get Quinine for Homemade Tonic
There are a couple options for obtaining quinine:
- Quinine powder – This powder can be purchased online or at some health food stores. It provides the most authentic tonic flavor.
- Quinine extract – A liquid quinine concentrate is also available. It’s easier to mix into the carbonated water.
- Tonic syrup – Some companies like Tomr’s and Jack Rudy make tonic syrup concentrates, but they can be difficult to find.
The quinine powder or extract can easily be added to carbonated water. Follow the package instructions for dosing, as quinine has a potent, bitter flavor.
Flavors for Homemade Tonic
In addition to quinine, you can add other flavors to your homemade tonic water to enhance the taste:
- Citrus juices – Small amounts of lemon, lime, or grapefruit juice complement tonic water well.
- Sugar or simple syrup – Just a bit helps balance the bitterness.
- Herbs – Try fresh herbs like mint, basil, lavender, or rosemary.
- Spices – Ginger, cardamom, star anise, or peppercorns add interesting flavor.
- Fruits – Berries, pomegranate seeds, cucumber, and other fruits can be muddled into the tonic.
Get creative with the flavor combinations! The carbonated water made with the SodaStream provides a great base for crafting homemade tonic water.
Recipe for Homemade SodaStream Tonic Water
This easy recipe shows how to make your own tonic water with a SodaStream:
- 1 liter carbonated water made in SodaStream
- 100-200mg quinine powder
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp sugar or simple syrup
- Slice of lime or other citrus for garnish
- Carbonate 1 liter of water in your SodaStream per the machine’s instructions.
- Remove the carbonated water bottle from the machine.
- Add quinine powder and lime juice directly into the SodaStream bottle. Start with 100mg quinine and add more to taste if desired.
- Add sugar or simple syrup.
- Secure bottle cap and shake gently to dissolve and mix ingredients.
- Pour tonic water over ice and garnish with a lime slice.
Adjust the quinine amount based on your preferred flavor intensity. Add more lime juice and sugar if needed to balance the bitterness.
For the closest replication of commercial tonic, look for quinine sulfate or quinine hydrochloride powder. Cinchona bark powder also works.
You can also prepare a concentrated tonic syrup with the quinine and citrus juice to add to soda water as needed. This allows you to tweak the flavor and makes it easy to mix up homemade tonics anytime.
Benefits of Homemade Tonic Water
Here are some benefits of making your own tonic water with a SodaStream:
- Control the flavor – Tailor the quinine level and ingredients to your taste.
- No artificial sweeteners – Avoid the high fructose corn syrup and synthetic sweeteners in store-bought brands.
- More natural – Use real ingredients like fruit and herbs for flavor instead of “natural flavors”.
- Stronger quinine content – Get more potent bitter flavor from higher quinine levels.
- Economical – Homemade is cheaper than premium commercial tonic waters.
- Fun to make – Creative to mix up your own flavor combinations.
With a few simple ingredients and a SodaStream, you can produce better quality tonic water than the mass market options.
Tips for Making Tonic with a SodaStream
Here are some helpful tips for successfully making great tonic water with a home carbonation machine:
- Use fresh squeezed citrus juice for the best flavor.
- Store leftover tonic water in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Consider bottling the tonic water in small sealed bottles for convenience.
- Shake the bottle well before pouring to distribute ingredients.
- Always add quinine, citrus, and sugar after carbonating the water.
- Increase quinine amount gradually until desired bitterness is reached.
- Add small amounts of spices, herbs, and fruit for flavor complexity.
It may take some trial and error to get your tonic recipe just right. Take notes so you can recreate it and adjust to your liking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is homemade tonic water safe to drink?
Yes, tonic water made at home with a SodaStream is safe to drink. Use food-grade quinine to get the classic tonic flavor without any safety risks. Be sure to store the finished tonic water properly in the refrigerator.
How long does homemade tonic water last?
Homemade tonic water will typically last 1-2 weeks refrigerated. The carbonation may start to dissipate after about a week. For improved shelf life, store tonic water in very clean sealed bottles.
Can you use baking soda and lemon juice to make tonic water?
No, baking soda and lemon juice alone won’t emulate tonic water. You need quinine extract or powder to get the characteristic bitter flavor of tonic. Lemon juice adds nice citrus notes though.
Is tonic water alcoholic?
No, tonic water does not contain any alcohol on its own. It’s commonly mixed with liquors like gin, vodka, or rum to make cocktails. But plain tonic water just contains carbonated water, quinine, and other flavorings without alcohol.
Does homemade tonic water taste the same as store-bought?
Homemade tonic with a SodaStream won’t taste exactly the same as commercial brands. But it can taste even better since you control the flavors. With some tweaking of the quinine, citrus, sugar, and seasoning, you can make tasty tonic water at home.
The Bottom Line
Making your own tonic water with a SodaStream at home is easy and rewarding. With carbonated water, quinine, and your choice of flavors, you can create a tasty and healthier tonic water that suits your taste preferences.
Tailor the quinine intensity, balance sweetness and tartness, and experiment with different flavorings. Making your own tonic water also avoids artificial ingredients found in many commercial options. Give it a try and enjoy homemade tonic water anytime.
|Tonic Water Brand
|High fructose corn syrup
|Homemade with SodaStream
|Simple syrup or sugar